Hauppauge Fined for Ignoring FCC Correspondence

The FCC sent Hauppauge Computer Works a Notice of Apparent Liability for $11,000 for apparently willfully and repeatedly violating “a Commission order by failing to respond to a directive of the Enforcement Bureau (‘Bureau’) to provide certain information.” FCC rules require that all video devices that receive TV signals shipped after March 1, 2007, include DTV tuners.

Hauppauge continued to sell analog-only TV boards after March 1, 2007, asserting that its products are not stand-alone TV receivers, but rather are components added to a personal computer to provide TV capabilities. Using a Hauppauge analog TV board did not preclude the use of a DTV receiver board in the same computer.

The FCC responded to Hauppauge’s assertions by notifying the company that its response was not sufficient. Under FCC rules, Hauppauge had 15 days to respond. Approximately 29 days after the FCC letter of inquiry was sent, Hauppauge responded. “Due to our annual audit, we have been unable to finish processing your request,” the company said. “We expect that we will be able to do so within the next 30 days.”

The FCC notice stated, “To date, however, Hauppauge has not complied with the Bureau’s directive to provide the requested information.”

The fine was issued for Hauppauge’s failure to respond to the FCC. It is not for the Hauppauge’s sale of analog-only PC tuners. A recent check of Hauppauge’s Web site showed they were still selling analog-only PC tuners such as the WinTV-USB-2 and PVR-350. Analog-only tuners, of course, are still legal outside of the United States.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.